What to look for in ati video cards?

what makes an ati video card good?

in order of importance.

core clock


ddr type

or the number such as 5450, 4670, etc. btw, what are these numbers? is higher the better?

5 answers Last reply
More about what video cards
  1. The higher the model # in the family the more powerful it is. Example HD 5570 < HD 5670 < HD 5750.

    Generally speaking newer generation cards are more powerful than older generation cards. Example HD 4xxx < HD 5xxx.

    Comparing performance of different generation cards takes research. Here is a brief simple snapshot:

    HD 4650 = HD 5550 < HD 4670 = HD 5570 < HD 5670 < HD 4770 < HD 4850 = HD 5750 < HD 4870 = HD 5770 < HD 4890 = HD 5830 (roughly speaking) < HD 5850 < HD 5870

    The faster the video card the more it is able to take advantage of 1GB of RAM. The higher the resolution of the monitor, the more memory you should have. Things to keep in mind:

    1. Starting at 1680 x 1050 1GB of Video RAM can make a difference depending on the game.

    2. The HD 5670 is too slow to take advantage of 1GB of RAM unless you can see roughly 1% - 2% of increased performance. Likewise, if the HD 5670 can't take advantage of 1GB of RAM, slower cards will not benefit either.
  2. Generally speaking, the "higher" the model number, the better.

    Depending on budget, overclocked cards offer improved performance than stock cards. You will pay a premium though.

    You could overclock it yourself using programs such as MSI Afterburner. This will depend on your skill and patience.

    Another thing to consider is your CPU/MB. A high end video card can bottleneck your CPU, negating the the performance of the graphic card.

    To overcome this, you can consider overclocking your CPU to compensate.

    Good luck.
  3. ATI performance is largely determined by the number of stream processing units.

    Newer cards with 40nm manufacturing technology will run cooler.

    As to performance, check tom's charts appendix where different cards are classified into performance tiers.

    A difference of one or two tiers is not that significant.
  4. geofelt said:
    ATI performance is largely determined by the number of stream processing units.

    After that probably memory bandwidth which is a combination of memory type, speed and bus width.
    Basically just look at the chart he linked rather than trying figure these things out for yourself based on raw stats. That chart is based on performance and doesn't factor in other things like power efficiency and dx11 compatibility. Only the HD5000 cards are DX11 and they are also usually much more power efficient than the HD4000 series.
  5. What makes an ATI card good? Performance, value, OC ability... that is about all. What makes an Nvidia card good? The same things.

    What are you willing to spend... look at reviews, what performs best for your budget? Get that one. Haha.
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